In the fourth Book of Ember, best-selling author Jeanne DuPrau juxtaposes yet another action-packed adventure with powerful themes about hope, learning, and the search for truth.
Don't miss Lina and Doon's other adventures in The City of Ember.
©2008 Jeanne DuPrau; (P)2008 Random House, Inc.
"An electric debut. Lina and Doon's search parallels the universal adolescent quest for answers." (Publishers Weekly)
This is book 4 of 4 in the "Ember" series which describes a post-apocalyptic earth in hopeful terms. I like that part of the series' approach, though the overall style can be a little pedantic (in my adult opinion) for moral lessons. However, the target audience is juvenile readers so I think the clarity and overt description of moral connections is likely appropriate. All middle and elementary schoolers I have spoken to about this book have really enjoyed it.
SPOILER ALERT: This book starts out roughly where ThePeople of Sparks (book 2) leaves off, with winter in full swing and people struggling to get along and survive the winter. The two protagonists want to (again) save things by going back to their abandoned City of Ember. Their adventures are interesting and of course hold many moral lessons. The story telling is skillful and writing is also well done. I would say as an adult I am more accustomed to loose ends left for the reader to fill in according to the reader's inclinations which sometimes can be unsatisfying - other times it is an excellent way to get the reader to continue to ponder and discuss the book long after finishing it. Here, the tying up of details will satisfy all juveniles and any adult who gets frustrated by open endings.
The story was amazing, but it had a poor ending.
Going back to the city.
You'll be happy to hear that in this final book we get to go back to the original action and locations. There are many many holes in this story. It goes beyond suspension of belief (how can canned food last that long, for one). However, we get to see Ember again with the old gang and more new discoveries from the builders which was a relief. The ending is oh so lame I'm afraid. She tries to wrap it all up neatly and it goes off as a....huh? However, I think if you liked Ember (the first book) you'll enjoy this one well enough.
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